This week I am going to poke fun at myself again, because it is one of my favorite pastimes. I am a fashion don’t in every way because clothes and staying in vogue is simply unimportant to me. When our organization began to look again at our dress code policy, I wanted less than nothing to do with it.
Unfortunately, I am the HR Executive for the organization, so the policy resides in my department. I wisely suggested that one of my staff sit on the committee to review the policy. That I believe was one of the wisest decisions of my career.
Three policies in a workplace tend to stir up the employees: parking, dress code and who makes the coffee (actually this one doesn’t come into play anymore now that women have broken the glass ceiling). We’ve already obliterated the hornet’s nest when we changed the parking policy and, aghast, made our employees walk a few extra feet (okay I’m minimizing a bit) because patients and visitors had no place to park. You’d think that we were the worst employer on the planet because we wanted our patients to have a close place to park. Now here we are again, wanting to eliminate the long standing tradition of allowing employees to wear jeans on Wednesdays and Fridays. On Wednesdays employees can pay a fee for the privilege of dressing casually and all the money goes to charity. I know such a horrible policy, how dare we allow employees to pay into a fund for cancer research.
Since I have a bit of a different philosophy on dress codes by believing we need to focus on far more important issues (like how we treat each other and the patients and families members) versus whether our reputation is tarnished because we allow employees to wear jeans, I declined involvement in the committee. Things like measuring the length of a skirt, leggings or no leggings, open toed shoes, which employees should be required to tie back their hair have all been hot topics in the meeting. I decided to test a theory. What if I started pulling out my conservative suits from the 80s and began wearing them to work, would the committee want to also address out of style dress because that might tarnish the reputation of the organization?
I already have a problem wearing the right shoes (see earlier blog Two Left Feet), and for some reason on this particular day I wore the wrong color tights (navy instead of black). It’s cold here so I’m not wearing nylons when tights are a lot warmer. I wonder if they will forbid tights as well.
I think my staff knew I was poking fun when they saw the shoulder pads and since I’ve never worn dresses prior to this dress code controversy, it was pretty apparent. I beat them to the punch in the morning and told them I’d already received a call from the 80s declaring they wanted their suit back.
Maybe I’ll bring back vintage fashion or maybe other people will see things for the way they really are – let’s spend more time on the things that really matter and less time on who is wearing what. That’s not to say we should allow people to wear any old thing, but come on there is a level of reasonableness – isn’t there?
Who’s with me? Bring back parachute pants (I owned a pair and wore them regularly), big hair, headbands (Olivia rocked that) and jumpsuits cause don’t we all deserve to laugh at least once a day?
I hear that a few of my books have some laugh out loud moments, so feel free to check them out and get a chuckle.
As a special treat I’ve also added audio teasers to the currently published books.
My first two books, Love Forever, Live Forever, and Asset Management are available in both e-book and print format. Links below will get you to all the places you can purchase the books. Out of This World is only available through Amazon and is FREE to Kindle Unlimited subscribers. Locked Inside was just released and links to all the different places you care get this new book are below. Thanks for supporting a new writer!!
Links to Locked Inside: Amazon Affinity Barnes and Noble Smashwords
Link to Out of This World: Amazon
Out of This World Audio Teaser
Links to Asset Management: Amazon Affinity E-Book Press Smashwords Barnes & Noble Bella Books
Links to Love Forever, Live Forever:
Amazon Affinity E-Book Press Smashwords Barnes and Noble Bella Books
Love Forever, Live Forever Audio Teaser
6 thoughts on “The 80’s Called They Want Their Suit Back…”
Another awesome blog, Annette! Funny how these workplace issues are the same wherever you work…including staff reactions to certain changes – like the parking.
Wow did you bring back memories…of workplace issues and of the ’80s. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Just about everywhere I’ve worked, where I worked with other people, these issues came up. Right now, I work part time for a government agency in a customer facing position. I have a well defined dress code policy to follow that I’m sure took hours or even days of negotiation. Interestingly, I can wear jeans to work every day if I so choose. For us, the dictates are that they must be clean, free of holes, etc. I can’t however wear open toed shoes. All matter of athletic shoes are fine, I could probably even get away with bedroom slippers…just so my toes don’t show. I fail to understand that policy.
Isn’t funny how one employer will try to control something that matters so little in the grand scheme of things and yet others, when it should matter, don’t seem to care? The best example I can give of where a code should apply and doesn’t is the restaurant in the little village where I live. On any given day you can find one waitress in a t-shirt or hooded sweatshirt with an offensive saying like “Buck Off’ over a depiction of deer antlers like that somehow disguises the meaning while another will be running around in the shortest shorts and tightest top she can possibly squeeze her 50+ year old self into. It isn’t Hooters…we’re talking about a diner where the local farmers grab breakfast or lunch and bring the family after church on Sunday. Why they don’t have a dress code blows me away.
LOl, well the organization that I work for, a hospital, hair color matters, tattoos matter, no jeans pants or skirts, length of skirt, dress matter, no collarbone exposure and I’m sure I’ve missed a few!
Great blog! 😄
I just ignore our dress code and wear jeans everyday unless I will have direct contact with a customer. How I dress doesn’t impact my job and no one can convince me otherwise. I think the older you get the more you just don’t care what others think!
I was an executive on Fifth Avenue in the NYC’s advertising and garment industries during the 60s and 70s when fashion was everything for men and women alike. I maintained 32 outfits, so I never wore the same outfit twice in a month.
That changed in 1979 when I became self-employed full time, until I retired in 2013. During those years I spent the vast majority of my time out of the public eye. I lost my flair for fashion. But i still love it — still dress for success whenever II leave the yard.
I wonder if, like most everything else, we’re influenced by our upbringing to either love, or hate dress codes. Personally, it’s a good thing I dropped out, because I could never have dressed down on Friday.
Regardless, with your looks and body — I can’t imagine anything looking bad on you.
LikeLiked by 1 person